William and Mary College

The College of William and Mary, Williamsburg, Virginia

William and Mary is the second oldest institution of higher education in the United States, and as such, has a great history of important alumnae including US Presidents Thomas Jefferson, James Monroe, and John Tyler.

William and Mary College, Williamsburg, VA. © BackyardProductions BigstockPhoto.com
Statue in fron of William and Mary College, Williamsburg, VA. © BackyardProductions • BigstockPhoto.com

It has continued to gain notable alumni into the 20th century, among them are The Daily Show’s John Stewart (’84), fashion designer Perry Ellis (’61), and US Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates (’65), and NASA astronaut David M. Brown. (’78) The school itself continues to rank in the top ten academic institutions in the nation according to Forbes and the U.S. News Report, and today the school is best known for its marine science and colonial history departments.

On February 8, 1693, King William III and Queen Mary II of England signed the charter for a “perpetual College of Divinity, Philosophy, Languages, and other good Arts and Sciences” to be founded in the Virginia Colony.

Apart from the college’s excellent academic reputation, it is also home to the oldest academic building in America, The Wren Building, a National Historic Landmark. The building was renovated during the 1930’s as part of the project of John D. Rockefeller, Jr. to restore and promote Historic Williamsburg. Two additional buildings on the campus were restored as part of this project, the President’s House and the Brafferton.

“Our students are not only some of the smartest in the world, but passionate about serving others and serious about having fun. Our professors are teachers, scholars and research mentors, the cornerstone of a thriving intellectual community that produces experienced, engaged, successful graduates.”

The College of William and Mary is also the birthplace of Greek societies, beginning with Phi Beta Kappa. In 1918, the college became one of the first co-educational schools in Virginia, and saw a significant increase in enrollment, growing from 104 students in 1889 to 1269 students in 1932. Today’s student body is active in sports, a cappella groups, comedy groups, and other performance activities, many of which are free and open to the public.

William and Mary College
Williamsburg, Virginia
Website: http://www.wm.edu/